Off topic: Any tips for Vienna
Thread poster: Elías Sauza

Elías Sauza  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 21:57
Member (2002)
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Feb 26, 2007

I'll travel to Vienna after the 5th Conference in Budapest, on April 30th. I have not booked anything except the hotel for May 1st and 2nd, 2007. Any suggestions for the best things to do are welcome. Has anyone attended the musical Rebecca?

Elías



[Edited at 2007-02-27 13:15]


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 22:57
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Cheap hotels in Vienna Feb 26, 2007

I went to Vienna last summer and hotels at great prices with very nice rooms are all over town. I was surprised that the prices are so low. There are also so many of them, you could almost leave without planning beforehand.

If you go to Vienna, go for an ice cream at Tichy on Reumannplatz (at the subway station of the same name). It will be the best ice cream you ever had in your life! Make sure you can handle a line-up! Don't even have a coffee downtown, unless you are willing to pay EUR 4 for a simple coffee. When downtown, try to find an Anker if you're hungry - they have super fresh and delicious sandwiches at reasonable prices and the coffee is not half bad.

Catching a show in Vienna is great, wherever you go, so even if the musical itself may be mediocre (although I have no idea), it's worth it to go for it anyway. If you want to go for a nice walk, go for a walk around the canal downtown. Make sure you visit parks - they all have statues of famous people in them! If you want to see something grandiose, visit the Schönbrunn castle to catch a glimpse of Sissi and Franz Joseph's empire. Make sure you reserve an entire day for it, and if you visit the garden, leave that for the end as it's open at least two hours later than the castle premises.

Finally, if you are looking for a snack in a supermarket, get the Kinder Milchschnitte (in the fridge). It's a bar, it's fluffy, it's sweet but not overly and I only found it in Austria - don't miss out on it!



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Liliana Roman-Hamilton  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:57
English to Italian
my tips Feb 26, 2007

I LOVE Vienna, been there a few times.

Don't miss the Schoenbrunn Castle, including the Gloriette (it's quite a walk but worth it), visit the Stephansdome (go up to the top if you can), the wonderful imperial treasure in the Hofburg Palace, walk along the pedestrian Kaertner Strasse for some shopping, see the Klimt collection at the Belvedere Museum, the wonderful art masterpieces at the Kunsthistorischesmuseum and, off the beaten path, go to see the Hundertwasserhaus if you want to see some crazy architecture (looks like Gaudi's style).

If you can, spend the evening in some tavern in the Grinzing quarter, eating Wienerschnitzel, sipping spritz wine and listening to Viennese operettas....

Don't miss a piece of Linzertorte (the Sacher is overrated and pretty dull IMO).

Vienna is majestic, elegant, imperial, you'll like it!

L.

[Edited at 2007-02-26 22:40]


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xxxIreneN
United States
Local time: 21:57
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I'm listening too! Feb 26, 2007

Also, I'll be taking a morning boat from Budapest to Vienna. The ride takes 6 hours, twice longer than by train but from what I've heard and can imagine myself it must be worth it! They depart at 9 am every day, booking is recommended.
http://www.vienna-hydrofoil.hotels-in-budapest-hungary.com/index.html


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Elías Sauza  Identity Verified
Mexico
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Tips for Vienna Feb 26, 2007

I see that the Schoenbrunn Castle is a must. I'm taking notes of all your other recommendations. I see that my hotel (NH Belvedere) is 500 m away from the Schwarzenbergplatz, so I cannot miss that ice cream or (I suppose) the Belvedere Museum.

I would have liked that boat ride but I have already booked the train from Budapest.

Many thanks to all!

Elías

[Edited at 2007-02-27 13:15]


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Marion Lurf  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:57
English to German
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To give you a little taste... Feb 27, 2007

Vienna offers so many possibilities, I don't even know where to start (and bearing in mind that it's quite late, I'll try to keep it short for tonight). Apart from the excellent suggestions made by Viktoria and Liliana, you could also have a look at the Prater/Danube region to see the greener parts of Vienna. Donauinsel (an artificially built island in the Danube) is great to relax, while Donauturm (Danube Tower, http://www.donauturm.at/ ) offers extraordinary views over the city and also boasts a rotating restaurant on the top. Prater with its famous Giant Ferris Wheel, on the other hand, provides everything from entertainment to recreation and is certainly worth a visit after all the cultural gems at Schönbrunn (a must-see!), Hofburg, Museumsquartier ( http://www.mqw.at ) & Co.

By the way, a great way of getting a first impression of the city is to take either tram 1 or 2 which circle around the Ringstraße - they are almost like a sightseeing tour, introducing you to the Opera, the newly renovated Parliament building, the Rathaus (city hall) and much more. The first district (Innere Stadt) is small enough to explore it on foot; this way you will also get a chance to discover the smaller alleys. If you feel like spending some money, do a Fiaker ride in a horse-drawn carriage...

I'm afraid 2 or 3 days won't be long enough to get to know Vienna properly (I lived there for four years and left so many things undiscovered...), so you might want to plan your stay carefully. But don't forget the breaks - coffee and cake in a traditional Viennese café is a must, and so is Wiener Schnitzel. And Viktoria, I second your opinion about Tichy

I might post more later on, and of course there's still the conference to ask around. See you all in Budapest!

Marion

[Edited at 2007-02-27 00:48]


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Niraja Nanjundan  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:27
German to English
Wonderful place! Feb 27, 2007

Hi Elias,

I grew up in Vienna and lived there for twenty years. It's a wonderful city and I'm sure you'll enjoy yourself there.

Everyone else has given you great tips, so I don't have much to add except that if you have the time, you could also take a walk up the Kahlenberg or Leopoldsberg. On a clear day you can get a lovely view of the city from the top.

Best regards,
Niraja


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lidius  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:57
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Hundertwasser's buildings Feb 27, 2007

Hundertwasser were a famous Austrian artist (he died only five or six years ago), and he «built» some very interesting buildings, three of them in Vienna: the Kunsthauswien, the Hundertwasserhaus and the Heating Plant Spittelau. You can find more information about the artist and these buildings in:
http://www.kunsthauswien.com/

And, if you like old movies, you must go to the Prater and get in the Giant Wheel, where Orson Welles spoke with Joseph Cotten in the magnificent «The Third Man». Don't forget to whistle the famous tune!

Sorry for my poor English,

L.


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 22:57
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I forgot to mention Feb 27, 2007

If you are into ancient architecture, one of the riches of that part of Europe, the Stephansdom, is right in the middle of the city. It is a marvel! You have to visit it. They are doing major renovations on it as it was literally falling apart, so I am not sure which part of it will be covered with scaffolding, but either way, they only work on one section at a time, so you will have plenty of room for nice pictures without scaffolding in them. If you're lucky, there is still half of the building covered in dirt, which gives it a very eerie look. Sorry, I know you will not all agree, but I like it with its weathered look more than when it is clean It costs a lot to walk around inside and go up into the tower, but I guess they need the money for the renovations. The inside of it is full of intricate details - if you have good optical zoom on your camera, you'll spend hours photographing it, both inside and outside.

The Prater is a good bet, especially since they charge per ride, and not per visit as they do in North America for amusement parks. Unless this has changed since the nineties... I didn't go last summer because I only had four days to visit...

Tram rides 1 and 2 really are nice ways to take in the sights. However, make sure you take some time to get off and then get on, because there WILL be a few places where you'll feel like getting off the tram to walk around.

Another nice thing to see is the Belvedere, but last summer, they were working on it and it was impossible to get inside. You may want to check this before you go so you don't waste time on going to a place you will not be able to visit. However, they will let you take a walk around the building - the garden is beautiful. It's a bit like Schönbrunn, only smaller and more simple.

By the way, depending on how you get there from Budapest, you may want to stop for a break in Sopron or Györ, they're both on your way. Both cities are close to the border and are beatiful. Sopron is all about beauty - it's a place often visited by Austrians. As for Györ, it's more simple and smaller, but its downtown is very pretty and pleasant. Three rivers meet there downtown - Ràba, Ràbca and the Danube. If you go there, check out the thermal bath - it costs next to nothing and is very cool.

Around Budapest, if you feel like exploring outside of the city, you may want to go to Szentendre or Esztergom. I will not tell you about them in detail here, both are popular destinations for a day of fun or sightseeing. To go to Szentendre, you can take the HÉV, a type of train that leaves from downtown Budapest and takes you there within half an hour. Make sure you go in the morning. If you need more info on this, contact me, I can send you links to sites with lots of information on these places.

Finally, for all of you who have not yet reserved a place to stay in in Budapest - or elsewhere in Hungary - there is an affordable and friendly way to get accomodation. You can rent eaither a room in an apartment or an apartment at excellent prices. They are all cool places and many of them are downtown. Check this link - search results will include photos of the places and detailed descriptions. Apartments (complete with kitchen, bathroom, washing machine, pots and pans, bedding, etc.) cost USD 40-80 per night. If you reserve for at least 4 nights, you'll pay a little less per night.

http://www.ibusz.hu/apartman/index.phtml?lang=en&menu_id=103&lang=en

Have fun! I wish I could go too...


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Csaba Ban  Identity Verified
Hungary
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museums Feb 27, 2007

In addition to the above, if you love art (paintings), you must visit the Kunsthistorisches museum. Another good exhibition hall is Dorotheum. A bit further away from the centre you can find a museum dedicated to Klimt, Schiele and Kokoschka.

If you are from Mexico, you might be intrerested in seeing a bunch of dead Habsburgs: go to the Imperical Crypt (Kaisersgruft). Maximilian of the Mexican fame is also there, plus dozens of others.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imperial_Crypt


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Liliana Roman-Hamilton  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:57
English to Italian
Kaisergruft & others Feb 27, 2007

I visited the Kaisergruft (Imperial crypt) back in 1988, so almost 20 years ago, but I remember only BIG coffins (there is one containing Maria Theresia and her husband, it's a "double coffin", basically they rest together for eternity).

Yes definitely the Schoenbrunn is a must. You can get a guided tour with a professional guide or, (less expensive), an audio guide, a sort of cordless phone which will explain all the rooms that you can visit. The castle is beautiful inside and out, the grounds around it are gorgeous in all seasons, and the Great Gallery (one of the most beautiful rooms I have ever seen in a castle) is breathtaking.
I grew up watching Sissi's movies (starring the late Romy Schneider) so getting to see the palace for the first time was a great experience.

If you would like to try some imperial pastries don't miss the Cafe Residenz, it's inside Schoenbrunn: dozens of different kinds of coffees and teas, mouthwatering cakes. You name it, they have it!
And if you are a sweet tooth, Landtmann is almost an institution. It's on Schmelzgasse.
The Austrian patisserie is one of the richest and most refined in Europe as it served one of the most important courts of the Old World.


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Niraja Nanjundan  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:27
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Prague Feb 27, 2007

Apart from Vienna, those of you attending the Budapest conference should also consider visiting Prague, another very interesting place and one of my favourite cities.

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Elías Sauza  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 21:57
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Two and a half days, too short Feb 27, 2007

As the list of places suggested grows bigger, one afternoon and two full days seem too short for my stay. And this is just a little taste... However, It seems that what you all have recommended will fill my senses. I cannot think of visiting Vienna (or Europe) without considering Art in its different expressions, or trying some of those places for a coffee, cake or ice cream, and taking a city ride or seeing the city from the top of the Kahlenberg or the Danube Tower. And yes, Niraja, I'll be in Prague before Budapest. Vienna will be the last point I'll visit before returning home. I hope that by then I have some money left to take a ride on the Fiaker.

Thanks everybody.


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 22:57
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Museums Feb 27, 2007

Csaba mentioned museums in Vienna. He is right about the Kunsthistorisches Museum, but there is another museum facing it, the Naturhistorisches Museum. In fact, they are two buildings that look exactly the same and are on the same lot. Even just looking at the buildings is fun, they are beautiful. If you plan to visit one of them, make sure you have at least 4 hours for each (and that is the time it takes for a "tourist" visit - if you want to take your time to look at everything and not miss out on anything, you really should take an entire day for each).

If you go to Prague, let it be known that although it is an inexpensive place to visit, it is almost impossible to find a place downtown where it will cost you less than USD 50 per person to eat (unless you want to eat crappy tourist trap food). If you want to eat something good (traditional Czech fare too) while you are walking around downtown, go to Kolkovna. A generous meal will cost you around $10-12 and the place has a great European tavern feel to it. It is a few blocks away from the center of downtown, where, if you take a picture from any angle on a bright day, you will have many other people in your picture taking a picture at the same time (a fun photo experience). Also, if you visit Prague, be prepared to not get to take pictures without a bunch of people in them. You simply can't get an unobstructed view of anything. Prague is the most beautiful photo experience I've ever had - it's a city sewn together from lace and embroidery! If you want to take pictures of bridges, take the funicular and you'll have a beautiful view of Old Prague. And did I mention beer is cheaper than pretty much anywhere in the world?


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xxxIreneN
United States
Local time: 21:57
English to Russian
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In Prague Feb 27, 2007

Don't miss on

Roast pork (veprova pecene) is a traditional Czech meal usually served on Sundays with dumplings, sauerkraut, and a nice Czech pilsner.

Fast 24 hours before and you'll still be full 2 days later:-). Try is with the house "live black beer". I had it in Chodov, which is closer to Karlovy Vary so I can't name the place in Prague but I'm sure you'll find plenty. Prague is fantastic!

Oh, boy, I'm running to the fridge:-)


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